Paper: The Case for RAMClouds: Scalable High-Performance Storage Entirely in DRAM

Stanford Info Lab is taking pains to document a direction we've been moving for a while now, using RAM not just as a cache, but as the primary storage medium. Many quality products have built on this model. Even if the vision isn't radical, the paper does produce a lot of data backing up the transition, which is in itself helpful. From the The Abstract:

Disk-oriented approaches to online storage are becoming increasingly problematic: they do not scale grace-fully to meet the needs of large-scale Web applications, and improvements in disk capacity have far out-stripped improvements in access latency and bandwidth. This paper argues for a new approach to datacenter storage called RAMCloud, where information is kept entirely in DRAM and large-scale systems are created by aggregating the main memories of thousands of commodity servers. We believe that RAMClouds can provide durable and available storage with 100-1000x the throughput of disk-based systems and 100-1000x lower access latency. The combination of low latency and large scale will enable a new breed of data-intensive applications.